A healthy, well-balanced diet and good nutrition is important at any age, but becomes even more so as we reach midlife and beyond.
As we age, healthy eating can help to improve mental acuteness, boost energy levels, and increase resistance to illness.
Healthy eating is important for the proper organ function, brain function, managing chronic illnesses, boosting the immune system, as well as assisting with bone and muscle strength. In addition, eating well can also be the key to a positive outlook, avoiding depression and staying emotionally balanced.
Unfortunately though, seniors are extremely susceptible to malnutrition, defined by The World Health Organisation (WHO) as a deficiency or imbalance of a person’s energy and or nutrients.
In most developed countries, malnutrition occurs as a result of a person’s inability to meet their nutritional needs due to decreased food intake, increased nutritional requirements and/ or an inability to absorb or use the foods being provided.
Therefore it makes sense that older people have a disproportionate risk of malnutrition due to a combination of these factors occurring including consuming too little food, too few nutrients, and due to digestive problems related to aging.
Sadly, malnutrition cases are more common among seniors who reside in aged care facilities with the best estimate of malnutrition in Australian community home care settings being around 15%.
Therefore, ensuring nutritional needs are met in aged care is an extremely important and complex task.
Well-known for custom designing and operating its high quality programs, services and facilities in order to satisfy the needs of the elderly, St Basil’s places the utmost importance on ensuring that the nutritional needs of the elderly under its care are met.
So much so that St Basil’s Lakemba kitchen passed all the 44 expected outcomes at the recent accreditation of food safety standards.
St Basil’s meals are inspired by the Mediterranean diet as it has been proven that this diet is very effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and overall mortality.
St Basil’s design seasonal menus in order to offer a variety of food throughout the year.
These menus are developed in consultation with a dietitian and prepared fresh in the St Basil’s kitchens every day. At every meal there is usually a choice of two hot options and a cold option.
St Basil’s food service also takes into account religious and dietary requirements.
With respect to its Greek residents, St Basil’s celebrates their name days, Christmas, and Easter by making traditional sweets like Greek honey puffs, ‘melomakarona’, ‘kourambiedes’ and so on, making eating an enjoyable and social experience.
The kitchen staff at St Basil’s make every effort to ensure that the food provided is at the highest standards and quality.
Central to this includes keeping the onsite kitchens extremely clean. It is essential to keep food safe from bacteria as with over 60 years’ experience in the aged care industry St Basil’s understands exactly just how vulnerable to infections seniors can be.
In addition, staff follow hand washing rules strictly, sanitize hands more often and, if wearing gloves, change them more regularly then usual.
St Basil’s does its best to offer options to please all of its seniors.
Key to St Basil’s success is that they take any feedback very seriously, using it to constantly adjust what is done with regard to food to ensure that the organisation is able to continuously improve its standards.
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